Exclusive interview with DJ Hardwell, the best DJ of the world
The young Dutch Hardwell is the best DJ in the world for the second year as per the Top 100 DJs’ list of the prestigious magazine DJ Mag. We have had the pleasure to interview him exclusively, building on his residency in Ibiza with ‘Hardwell’s Carnival’ at Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel.
You will be surprised by the answers he has given us to the 12 questions we asked. It won’t leave you indifferent! We all know that the Hardwell music and mix do not leave anyone indifferent. A promise fulfilled with a future in the electronic music that promises to be legendary.
Remember that you can buy your tickets in advance for his residency ‘Hardwell’s Carnival’ every Tuesday until September 8th at Ushuaïa Beach Hotel Ibiza in Playa d’en Bossa (Ibiza): ticketmaster.es/hardwell
How would you describe the atmosphere of Ibiza –to anyone who hasn’t been before?
Ibiza is amazing! You have to keep in mind it’s one of the most legendary places in the world when it comes to dance music, with a great history in dance music.
All the DJS are here during the whole summer, you can visit super underground parties, super mainstream parties, everything as a dance fan is here.
So yeah, the parties are really great, people actually book their vacation to party, and you can tell by watching the crowd and how energetic they are, it’s definitely one of the places to be.
What can fans expect from your set in Ibiza?
It’s one of the few sets where I actually play for 2 hours, on a festival you only get booked for like 1 hour.
We have Hardwell’s Carnival, with a great line-up with lots of guys from my label Revealed and also a couple of friends like Afrojack, W&W, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and it’s actually one big family of friends and we have a lot of fun on stage.
This year with have as theme the Carnival, very colourfull, with a lot of happiness, and what you can expect is a lot of great music and happiness.
This is your second season in Ushuaïa, what do you like the most about your shows here and about the venue?
I love Ushuaïa! I think if you book a summer vacation you want to stand in the sun and party outside. If you go to any other club in Ibiza, with all the respect, you know there are clubs all over the world, it doesn’t have the feeling you are in Ibiza; so that’s what I really like about being in Ushuaïa, you really feel you are in a daytime party, the venue is great, everything is great, from light, to soundsystem, to the people who we work with, it’s an amazing venue. As a DJ I always had a dream to have my residency on Ibiza, so I’m really happy to have one now.
Did you ever come to Ibiza to party before becoming a world known DJ?
Never to party… This is my sixth year on Ibiza and I’ve been playing in all the clubs around the island and it’s been a dream to have my own residency, but I’ve also had a great time playing at all the clubs as well.
Which are your favorite venues/festivals to perform?
Venues is really hard, every club has its own atmosphere, it depends in the country where you are in. If it comes to festivals I’d have to say Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, EDC and definitely Coachella. In Coachella you have everything, EDM, bands, indie, underground, everything, for a music lover it’s the place to be.
When you’re touring, do you have time to visit the places? What are your favourite spots in Ibiza?
Normally when I travel I don’t have the time to do any cultural stuff, or visit any fancy places. Well I’m living on the island now for two months, yeah. Yesterday we hired a boat and went to Formentera and we liked it over there; my tour manager took me for the first time to the Fish Shack in Sa Punta (Talamanca), it’s a great place to be, there’s lots of places here in Ibiza that I really like.
Can you tell us where the nickname “Hardwell” comes from?
I have a Dutch last name, van de Corput, and if you translate Corput in English you get Hardwell. It was quite simple!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think a lot of people don’t know that I started as a hip-hop DJ and I became quite a famous hip-hop DJ in Holland. But I wanted to produce dance music, so I made the decision to switch to dance music and started my career as a house DJ.
Which collaboration with another artists has been the most significant for you and why? Is there any artist you would like to collaborate with but haven’t had the opportunity yet?
I really enjoyed one of my latest collaborations with Jason Derulo, but a really significant collaboration was Zero 76 with Tiësto in 2010, that collaboration put me on the map, especially for America. A lot of people hadn’t heard about me and they were like “Who is that young guy with the legendary Tiësto?”, so that track really worked out for me.
If I have to pick out someone to work with it would be Pharrell Williams, I admire him as a producer, singer, songwriter and just who he is, an amazing person, it would be good to share some studio time with him.
What’s the weirdest gift/proposal you have ever received as a DJ?
I think I was in Bangkok for my I Am Hardwell show and after the show a girl gave me a bottle of like alcohol, all yellow, I didn’t even know what it was, with a scorpion inside of it and a dead snake around it. What was it? A scorpion and a snake in a bottle of booze! I was like “Ok, you can keep it”.
What is your favorite place to perform in Spain? Last weekend you performed at the Barcelona Beach Festival, how was that experience?
In Spain definitely Ibiza is my favourite place to play. I really had a good time in Barcelona, like 60.000 people there, it was unbelievable, and an amazing energy, I had never performed in such an amazing festival in Spain, so I really enjoyed it. Even Shakira came out to say hi during my set and it was nice.
My best memory about The Netherlands is…
My best memory? Netherlands is my home, so I don’t see it as a memory. My home is where my heart is, so I don’t have one specific memory about Holland. Where I’m walking back in Breda, my hometown, where I was born and raised, I just feel like home. When I’m on the road I just think back of my hometown, my friends, what they are doing right now.
This season, you’re appearing at VELD Music Festival in Toronto. Who are you most excited to see when you are not on stage yourself?
Deadmau5 is at the Festival, so I’d definitely be saying deadmau5, 100%.
You’ve got a number of show dates coming up in the US. Are there any cities or venues you’re particularly excited to play?
Definitely, if I’m not mistaken the 14th of September I’m bringing my new I Am Hardwell world tour back to America, to San Francisco, it’s the first date we’ve actually announced for America, more dates are coming, but I’m really excited for this date, to come back after 1 year.
Some people compare Ibiza with Las Vegas as world capital for party and electronic music. Which would be for you, the main differences between both places?
Many differences, first of all Ibiza has a great history when it comes to dance music, people who are on this island breathe dance music. Vegas is more like a theme park for adult people, people go there for 24-48 hours, they just go out because they heard great stories about the club, it’s a different crowd, different culture.
Here we are on an island, a paradise, Vegas is a dessert, with buildings that came out of nowhere, it’s completely different.
I like both to play, I have my residency here, my residency in Vegas, but you can’t compare them, they are completely different.
Any plans to return to Australia or New Zealand to perform soon?
We’re working on it, I’m definitely coming back. Australia knows it! The thing is I was a resident of Future Music Festival, and they stopped now.
I don’t know, maybe I’m gonna join the guys for Stereosonic, maybe I’m coming back with my I Am Hardwell world tour, at this point we’re just working on it, there’s no specific dates to announce.